I kind of mentioned last week that I’m in the middle of a major power struggle with one of the kiddos over food.

I think part of it is normal and then I think part of it is just because he just really loves to aggravate me. He’ll say things like, “I don’t like chicken. Except McDonald’s chicken nuggets.”

Oh, well isn’t that convenient!

Or, like on the night I made these Slow Cooker Aloha Pork Chops, he informed me that he doesn’t like pork. And I told him that I guess he won’t be having bacon anymore and bacon is his FAVORITE.

It took him about an hour but he eventually said that maybe he does like pork after all and he agreed to give it a try. And he loved it! Because what’s not to love about pork chops cooked in pineapple juice?

These were a huge hit with all the kids and a bigger hit with me because I had to do basically zero work. They cooked all day and then I simmered the sauce for about 10 minutes just to get it thickened up a little bit. I served it with mashed cauliflower in an effort to be healthy but the kids were not a fan and next time I’ll definitely serve it with rice. The extra sauce would be delicious on rice!

Click for the full recipe

5

I call this “The Stove Saga”.

If you were around last deployment, you may remember “The A/C Saga” which is oddly similar to this one.

Okay, so I have one working burner on my stove. Is it called a burner when it’s a gas stove? I have no idea. But only one of them works.

And this happened because way back in March, my stove started ticking.

(Let it be known that at this time, I had 3 working burners.)

A really nice guy came to fix it and I was grateful that he didn’t judge me based on the amount of dust and dog hair that was behind the oven.

Buuut, by the time he was done “fixing it”, the one burner that hadn’t previously worked was the only one working.

So I’ve had one burner since then. Which isn’t TOO bad but it gets annoying. Like, I can’t boil noodles and cook sauce at the same time. What was once a 20 minute meal now takes an hour. So yeah, it’s annoying.

But I stuck it out because I always feel like the maintenance guys have better things to do. There’s probably someone on post experiencing a leak in their roof or something equally horrible and I don’t want to take the maintenance guys away from stuff like that.

I realize this is most likely some deep-rooted self-esteem issue that I should probably be discussing with a therapist and not my food blog. But whatever.

Every few weeks, I get really fed up and I call the office and tell them the story and they say they’ll call me back. And they never do.

Actually, one time they did and the women told me to call her back but the number she left wasn’t in service which just made me angrier than if she hadn’t called at all.

Well, I’m officially at my end with it. And this is pretty typical of me. I wait and wait and put up with stuff and deal with it. And then I’m done all at once. And I’m fighting back tears in a housing office filled with soldiers while my kids quack loudly because they’re amused by the echo.

Uggghhhh, Army housing.

So I’m waiting for a phonecall. Again. I’ll keep you updated.

Until it’s fixed, I’ll be using my slow cooker a lot. I made this earlier in the week and my kids gobbled it up. They said it tasted like the sweet & sour chicken they always get from our favorite Chinese place.

Click for the full recipe

7

My kids have been obsessed with meatballs lately. I guess I should say more obsessed because meatballs have always been a favorite. But lately, they can’t get enough. I made spaghetti the other night and all the meatballs were gone well before the noodles were!

Since a couple of my boys are currently going through weird picky stages, I’ve decided we’re having meatballs for every meal!

No, not really but I figured I could make them more often and switch it up from the usual spaghetti.

My kids ate this entire recipe of Hawaiian Meatballs. In one sitting. And then asked me to make them again when I told them they were all gone.

I thought they were really good too and I was happy that the recipe didn’t call for ketchup because you guys know I hate (and by hate, I mean I secretly love) when recipes call for large amounts of ketchup in the sauce.

But this one is just pineapple juice and brown sugar! Feel free to make your own meatballs if you’re feeling more ambitious but the frozen ones worked just fine!

One year ago: Grapefruit Margaritas
Two years ago: 
Grown-Up Strawberry Slushies
Three years ago: French Dip
Five years ago: Anadama
Six years ago: Cinnamon Rolls

Slow Cooker Hawaiian Meatballs

Ingredients

3 pound package frozen meatballs
20 ounce can pineapple chunks, drained BUT save the juice!
1 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2/3 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon cayenne, optional

Instructions

  1. Put meatballs and pineapple chunks in slow cooker.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together pineapple juice, brown sugar, cornstarch, white vinegar, soy sauce, and cayenne (if using). Pour over the meatballs.
  3. Cook on low for 3 - 4 hours.
http://fakeginger.com/2014/05/15/slow-cooker-hawaiian-meatballs/

6

After years of hearing me talk about my weekly Chinese order, I have bad news for you.

I’m over Chinese.

It’s a sad moment because I have been obsessed with our local place’s cashew chicken since my husband’s last deployment.

I keep trying to talk myself back into loving it and actually went to my other Chinese food love, Panda Express (and took a work call while in the drive-thru because I keep things classy) the other day and it was just so blah. 

And now I’ve convinced myself that if I just go to PF Changs, I’ll be back in love with Chinese food and my life will return to normal.

(Normal = being able to acquire bad-for-you food without leaving your house)

I don’t know what’s wrong with me.

This Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken is less like the veggie-filled cashew chicken I love and more like the sweet and sour chicken that my kids love. All three of my boys loved it and argued over leftovers the next day.

It’s a really simple recipe and odds are, you have most of the ingredients on hand. If you are a sweet and sour person when it comes to Chinese food, you’ll probably dig it!

Two years ago: Orange Beef and Broccoli
Three years ago: Baked Seasoned Potato Wedges
Five years ago: Baked Brie

Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken

Ingredients

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size chunks
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
4 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoon brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup cashews

Instructions

  1. Combine flour and pepper in large Ziploc bag. Add chicken. Shake to coat with flour mixture.
  2. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Brown chicken about 2 minutes on each side.
  3. Place chicken in slow cooker.
  4. Combine soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, sugar, garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes in small bowl; pour over chicken.
  5. Cook on low 4 - 5 hours. Add cashews and stir. Serve over rice.
http://fakeginger.com/2014/04/17/slow-cooker-cashew-chicken/

7

Nope, no need to wipe your screen to get rid of that black speck. That’s a piece of pepper that I somehow overlooked in 27 different photos of this dish. Ugh.

I almost scrapped this post because of that stupid pepper piece but my boys loved it so much that I just had to share. They absolutely love Sweet and Sour Chicken and would happily eat it every night but I just haven’t been up to frying lately. I was watching a vlog the other day and whoever I was watching mentioned Sweet and Sour Kielbasa – I started searching for a recipe immediately.

The great thing about this recipe is that, even though it’s a slow cooker recipe, it’s ready in 2 hours! So if you’re an amazing procrastinator like me, you can still have dinner ready in time if you’re too lazy/tired/busy on Pinterest to put it in the slow cooker first thing in the morning. I actually put it in the slow cooker right before we left for soccer practice and by the time we got home, it was ready to go.

My boys went nuts over it. They ate all of it. All of it. My two older boys were actually arguing over who was going to eat what was left on the baby’s plate (there was none).

One year ago: Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
Two years ago: Hot Cross Buns
Four years ago: Pretzel Bites
Five years ago: Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts

Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Kielbasa

Ingredients

2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup onion, diced
4 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound kielbasa

Instructions

  1. Put ketchup, brown sugar, butter, onion, white vinegar, water, and salt and pepper in the bottom of a slow cooker. Stir until combined.
  2. Slice kielbasa into bite-sized pieces. Put in slow cooker and stir to coat with sauce.
  3. Cook on low for 2 hours or high for 1 hour.
  4. Serve hot, over rice if desired.
http://fakeginger.com/2014/03/26/slow-cooker-sweet-sour-kielbasa/

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